It seems we’re spoiled for contests at the moment, for no sooner do we get the Real World +200 Years Starfighter Contest but FBTB.net drops their Star Wars micro/midi contest. The goal here is to build a Star Wars MOC in either the “microfighter” style of pocket-money LEGO sets; or in “midi-scale”. This latter is particularly interesting as there were only ever 2 official LEGO sets in the midi-scale line, which is a shame because it’s pretty neat; sitting kind of between microscale and mini-fig scale. Let’s look at some highlights:


My eye was immediately drawn to this model of the outrider by foxprimus101, a subject that’s always appealed (this isn’t Dash Rendar’s, it’s one from Rebels apparently). The builder has made good use of the new 4×4 macaroni tiles to give a nice smooth curve to the main hull, although the eye on the front of the cockpit is a bit weird. There were printed pieces on the official midi-scale Falcon set, but they must be pretty rare.

Midi Slave 1

You can’t go wrong with Slave 1, and this is a sweet midi-scale rendition by Januarybegan. Interestingly, it seems to use very similar construction techniques as the big UCS model, and pretty much the same colours throughout. You can imagine a printed 1×2 tile with the unlucky Han Solo to put in the hold.


Lastly this V-22 Torrent by Bartosz Sasiński is excellent and uses some awesome techniques to build the colour blocking across the wings, as well as some judicious use of stickers. I can’t work out what piece he’s used for the cockpit but it’s a very clever construction (and possibly quite fragile!).

Head on over to FBTB.net and vote for your favourites.

Welcome to the Real World

Whilst I’ve been away The Real World +200 Starfighter Contest became a thing. The premise is to build a minifig scale starfighter type space vehicle as it might appear 200 years hence in the year 2217. What this translates into is that the models can’t be complete flights of fancy, they’re going to need to feel grounded in something vaguely plausible. So heat shields and RCS thrusters are in; warp drives and deflector shields are out. Here’s an opening gambit by Alessandro.


There’s no visible cockpit, because of course in this “real world” future space is vast and a simple window pretty pointless for identifying your targets at ranges that must be thousands of kilometers. It’s also bristling with RCS thrusters and according to the schematic below is armed with a rail gun and lasers; both plausible near-future weapons.

BLUE Phobos - data

The black and white colour scheme also feels nicely functional, like it’s a distant ancestor of the space shuttle. The little orange highlights really pop out and there’s loads of slickly implemented greebling. We’ll bring you more Real World Starfighters as the contest continues.

Hooked on a Plasticy Space Feeling

Tyler built a big “UCS” style model of the Milano from Guardians of the Galaxy and it makes you wonder why hardly anyone has done this before. Perhaps it’s because the official set 76021 The Milano Spaceship Rescue from 2014 was pretty good all round, whereas the new one 76081 The Milano vs. The Abilisk is smaller and more meh, thus inspiring improvements.


Either way this is a cracking model which works overtime to get in all the crazy angles of the real thing; whilst maintaining a lot of playability. Check out his video on The Brick Show where he shows it off a whole load and talks you through the play features and construction techniques.



At! At! At!

We take our spaceships-only policy very seriously; and it’s not infrequently that something comes along so heartbreakingly astounding it practically demands to be blogged; but it’s inconveniently a mecha/rover/sausage or something. Fortunately this amazing dio by GolPlaysWithLego has snowspeeders in it, which are spaceships, right (RIGHT?!) so it’s fair game.


This is the third version he’s built, and it’s evolving into a very, very nice model. The amount of detail he’s crammed into this tiny AT-AT is incredible and the presentation on the Hoth diorama with little trench details is amazing. The perfect little mini snowspeeders posed in action just pushes it over the edge!

Nanofigure-scaled AT-AT LEGO MOC v3.0

Hammer Time!

Whatever else you may think about Rogue One, you’ve got to agree they did a nice job putting in references to the other films and TV series. One that got fans of the Rebels TV series purring like kittens was the scene where a Hammerhead Corvette rams a Star Destroyer. Cue this LEGO version by Daryl Ng.


Daryl’s done a fantastic job of building this as a SHIP (90cm long = 112 studs) making great use of curved panels and 4×4 macaroni pieces build the cylindrical parts of the body. Orange parts duplicate the colouring from the movie / TV show and of course the eponymous head is suitably hammery.


I’m not a massive fan of the design, but it does feel firmly like a product of the same technology as the original movie’s Blockade Runner. Daryl’s put it on LEGO ideas so you can vote for it to be an official set, something it stands literally NO chance of becoming; but you never know we may see a more suitably scaled set one day.


Classic Views

When 70816 Benny’s Spaceship appeared a few years back, fans of Classic Space rejoiced because a) LEGO made an official Classic Space set! and b) it had a fantastic yellow cockpit windscreen piece which made a whole new slew of Classic Space MOCs possible. Joining their illustrious ranks is the LL-527 Rapier class fighter by Wami Delthorn.


Wami’s mounted the window upside down for some extra fun, which affords the pilot and navigator/weapons guy/freeloader fantastic views of wherever they’re swooshing next. He’s also used all sorts of angles to build up the impressive shape of the craft, from the cockpit itself leaning at an angle to body, to the wings canted just off the right angle and those neat air intakes scooping in above them.

LL-527 Rapier class fighter

I also really like the way he’s recycled touchstones of the Classic Space design formula into such a slick and modern build, e.g. the yellow window behind the cockpit, and the blue spoiler fin which wraps around the main engines and cleverly uses technic pieces to give it a smooth, modern look. He’s also given it a really neat landing pad so it’s got somewhere to call home between swooshings.

Control Tower and Landing Pad

Driving a Wedge

Some time back I blogged a spaceship that was clearly based on a lifting body concept, like a more advanced futuristic take on the aborted X-33. Builder Nick has taken that concept to the next level with his SAB S-44 Kestrel, evolving a similar shape into a further-future Starfighter.


It’s the black and white colour scheme that roots the model firmly in a plausible future. In fact, the covering of tiles seems to echo the tiles that made up the heat shield of the space shuttle. The shaping is also excellent, with an almost seamless approach resulting in a really impressive wedge shape across multiple axes.

SAB S-44 Kestrel

There’s some great details too, and I love the RCS thruster clusters built into the corners; and the Nexo Knights shield pieces used to build the engine exhausts; which is reminiscent of a stealth fighter.  Extra marks for the cool loadout shoot too, and for using a Classic Space canopy.


One Small Step

It’s a first of its kind post today but with good reason. After a few weeks of teasing, LEGO yesterday announced the new Ideas 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V set.


This is awesome for three very good reasons:

  1. Spaceship!
  2. Spaceship!
  3. Spaceship!

Standing a toddler-surpassing full meter in height and containing 1969 pieces (bizarrely also the year man first landed on the moon); this epic model truly does justice to this iconic vehicle. I’m literally gobsmacked at how a good a job LEGO have done with this set which doesn’t seem to compromise at all on the original ideas submission and is everything we hoped it would be and more. It retails for USD 119.99 / EURO 119.99 / GBP 109.99 which is a bit of bargain for so many pieces.

It’s released on 1st June and I look forward to pressing its plasticy parts together with a fervour bordering on the insane.

Beyond the Final Frontier

The blog has been a bit quiet lately, which is because unusually I’ve actually been building LEGO; and then photographing it and photoshopping and generally getting stuff ready. Unashamedly hitting the “shameless self promotion” tag, behold now the fruits of my labour:


Having built a number of smaller Star Trek models I wanted to build something larger where I could go to town on the smaller details and colouring rather than just get the overall shape. This fantastic concept design by Ryan Dening had been in my ideas folder for years, and I thought the faceted hull looked eminently buildable.

USS Utah NCC 46277 Starfleet Survey Vessel

I had also wanted to build a large microscale shuttlebay into a model for some time, so I photoshopped the one in the concept really quickly and this became my main guide. I ended up following that quite closely, tweaking the details mainly and eliminating the raised area behind the bridge.

USS Utah NCC 46277 Starfleet Survey Vessel

I was really pleased with the angles of the hull and used some neat techniques to build them. I also worked really hard to get the dark grey section to carry seamlessly onto the warp “wings” – the sand blue inset was just an added bonus! I posted a WIP online and did a final round of changes following some great feedback, making the hull more predominantly white and changing the lower weapons pods to sensor pods, with gold dishes as a throwback to 60’s Trek.

USS Utah NCC 46277 Starfleet Survey Vessel

It’s surprisingly sturdy and the central core means the entire model can stand on a single rod of technic beams. I also designed a new stand that angles the model on two axes so it’s artfully presented at a swoopy angle. My previous model took 10 months to build, but I knocked this out in four; and the process has been surprisingly straightforward and very enjoyable!

USS Utah NCC 46277 Starfleet Survey Vessel

As a footnote: I showed this to Ryan Denning, who’d designed the original concept, and I *think* he kinda liked it…


File this under “I didn’t realise this was LEGO until I clicked on it”. Builder Lia Chan has made this fantastically detailed large scale model of the SLS – the “Space Launch System” proposed replacement for the Space Shuttle which will (possibly) ferry future crews to earth orbit, the ISS and the moon.


She’s also photographed the model at night and with fantastic interior lighting on the gantry, which is what’s sold this so readily as being a real photo rather than a LEGO model. In fact the gantry is the larger and probably more complex build, with every little handrail and access area faithfully modelled.

SLS Night

Politics means it’s dubious whether the SLS will ever take off, but Lia’s excellent model is already out of this world! Sorry, that terrible pun will have to tide you over while we wait for LEGO’s own, official, ideas set of the Saturn V rocket, due to be announced soon.